Bipartisan Group of 29 Organizations Urge Congress to Take Action to Avert Tax Increase

by mmtcbbsj on April 11, 2014

On April 10th, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, along with 28 other national organizations, signed on to a letter to several members of Congress expressing support for the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act and the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act.  The full letter, also available on the Internet Tax Freedom Act Coalition’s website, is below.

CongressDear Chairman Goodlatte, Chairman Wyden, Representative Eshoo, and Senator Thune:

On behalf of the members of organizations from a diverse political spectrum, we write today to express our strong support for the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 3086) and the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (S. 1431). We greatly appreciate your continued leadership on this issue, and stand ready to work with you and your colleagues to ensure swift passage of legislation to make the moratorium on multiple and discriminatory taxes and taxes on Internet access permanent before the current Internet tax moratorium expires on November 1, 2014. With strong bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, these bills should be considered for passage prior to the August recess to avoid any uncertainty that will result from delay.

Internet taxation affects all Americans from all political views and all walks of life. From healthcare to education, small business entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, the Internet has dramatically transformed the way everyone lives, works, and learns. In 2010, the Internet accounted for an estimated $684 billion, or 4.7 percent of all U.S. economic activity. While the Internet was a nascent technology when the current moratorium was established in 1998, it has become the economic engine driving innovation and growth in our 21st century economy. Throttling that engine at a time when our economy is struggling hurts not only those trying to invest in America’s future, but also those who can least afford it and have the most to gain from the Internet’s potential.

By establishing tax policies that will help keep access to the Internet affordable and Internet commerce free from multiple and discriminatory taxation, more and more citizens of all economic levels will be able to participate in today’s digital economy. In fact, the impact of the Internet on the economy helped to convince a majority of the members on the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce to recommend in 2000 to make the Internet tax moratorium permanent. While the Internet tax moratorium has been extended three times since then, short-term extensions are no substitute for the certainty that will be provided by ensuring that there will never be a tax on access to the Internet.

Below are some quotes from the organizations on the letter:

“While Congress and the President want consumer adoption, investment, deployment and innovation in broadband services, allowing the imposition of onerous taxes would nullify these goals. We need to not tax what we should encourage.” Steve Pociask, President of The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research

“Ensuring that our business members continue to have affordable and reliable internet access will allow them to remain competitive in today’s global economy. We support the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 3086) because we understand that our country is strongest when citizens of all economic levels have fair access to the internet.” Ron Busby Sr., President of U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.

“It is not often that an issue receives bipartisan support in Washington, D.C., but the Internet tax moratorium is a rare area where both liberals and conservatives have found common ground.” Tom Schatz, President of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Again, we thank you for your leadership on these issues and we look forward to working with you to achieve making the Internet tax moratorium permanent.
60 Plus Association
American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research
American Commitment
Americans for Job Security
Americans for Tax Reform
Center for Individual Freedom
Consumer Action
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Digital Liberty
Health IT Now
Hispanic Leadership Fund
The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
The Latino Coalition
League of United Latin American Citizens
Less Government
Madery Bridge Associates
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council
National Association of Neighborhoods
National Black Chamber of Commerce
National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc.
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
National Hispanic Council on Aging
National Taxpayers Union
Net Competition
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.
U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Women Impacting Public Policy

The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications and broadband industries, and closing the digital divide. MMTC is generally recognized as the nation’s leading advocate for minority advancement in communications.

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